Telangana Govt. vs Governor: SC to hear on March 20 State’s plea over delay in giving assent to Bills passed by legislature

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on March 14 agreed to urgently hear a petition filed by Telangana Government against Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan for creating a “constitutional impasse” by refusing to act on several Bills passed by the State legislature.

Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud assured senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the State, that the case would be listed next week on March 20.

Dave submitted that the Bills have been pending since September 14, 2022, awaiting the assent of the Governor.

“In a parliamentary democracy, the Governor has no discretion to delay necessary assent as required on the Bills. Any refusal on the part of the Governor, including delay, will defeat parliamentary democracy and will of the people,” the State said in its petition filed through advocate S. Udaya Kumar Sagar.

“Several Bills are stuck,” Dave pointed out during the mentioning of the case before the CJI Bench for early listing. The State urged the court to “declare that the inaction, omission and failure to comply with the constitutional mandate qua the assent of the Bills by the Governor is highly irregular, illegal”.

Dave, through the petition, has argued that the Governor may or may not give assent to a Bill. However, the decision should be taken, rather than keeping the Bills pending for months together.

“The Bill must be returned together with a message requesting the Houses to reconsider it or any provisions in it and rethink the desirability of introducing any such amendments,” the petition highlighted Article 200 of the Constitution. The Governor would not withhold assent once the Houses reiterate the amendments.

The State trained the spotlight on how under Article 163 the Governor is not “expected to act independently”.

“The Governor is required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion only on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister heading it,” the petition said.